Kayla Hamilton

Kayla Hamilton

by Bailey HarrisStaff Writer

Junior Kayla Hamilton has accomplished a great deal in her past two years at Simpson College.

As a Wesley Service Scholar, Shalom Zone leader and world traveler, Hamilton has caught the attention and admiration of students, faculty and staff.

“Kayla is dedicated to making the world a better place, and her commitment to service is an inspiration,” Bobby Nalean, leadership and service coordinator for the Center for Vocation and Integrative Learning, said.

After spending a semester in Germany, Hamilton and junior Kelsey Johnston spent last summer in Tanzania living with Maasai tribe.

“We lived with a family of seven in a mud hut,” Hamilton said. “So the best experience for us was definitely getting to know our host family and just becoming a part of their lives, even with the language barrier.”

Translating between the two cultures was a challenging factor, but the pair learned some Swahili and learned about the importance of community in the Maasai culture.

The summer in Tanzania was not the first trip Hamilton has taken. In addition to her summer trip and her semester in Germany, she also participated in a service trip to Denver during May Term her freshman year.

Back in Indianola, Hamilton divides her time between Meals for the Heartland, Catholic Worker House and Religious Life Community.

Hamilton was not extremely involved with service projects until she started college. Now she intends to continue helping others and integrating service into her career.

While she originally planned on focusing on the business aspect of international marketing, she now plans to focus on non-profit work as a future goal. She is also majoring in religion and German.

Janet Everhart, assistant professor of religion and Hamilton’s adviser, can see great potential for leadership in her advisee.

“Kayla is relentlessly dedicated to making a positive impact on the world,” Everhart said. “She has maximized her opportunities for exploring the world during her time at Simpson and has inspired other students to stretch their horizons as well.”